KNOWSO • Pulsating Gore • LP

KNOWSO • Pulsating Gore • LP

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Sorry State Records

It’s fair to say that Cleveland’s Knowso are a difficult band to pigeonhole, epitomising as they do their home city’s penchant for taking punk off into wholly unexpected directions.  And for all of its lack of in-your-face immediacy, an often-fleeting quality that can quickly dissipate, their new album is one that tenaciously teases and insidiously entices you into its taut, anxious, enduring embrace.  Sardonically deadpan, yet anything but disengaged, vocals take the form of an uncompromising, often layered, invocation, while angular guitars form a densely woven interplay with a rigorously precise rhythm section.

The album’s lyrics are similarly permeated with a tense, off-kilter energy.  The thematic core is vocalist Nathan Ward’s involvement in the bitter, and ultimately unsuccessful fight to unionise his workplace, the band dissecting the ever more unequal struggle between labour and capital.  These issues are explored through an almost psychedelic tapestry of cryptic allusions, repeated fractured slogans, and violent dream-like imagery.  Both musically and thematically, the album is, perhaps, best understood as a single movement, but the bleakly knowing anger that permeates throughout, reaches particular crescendos on Do The Work, Drink From The Lake and Last Of The Punks.


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